Association of soil concentrations of Rhodococcus equi and incidence of pneumonia attributable to Rhodococcus equi in foals on farms in central Kentucky. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether soil concentrations of total or virulent Rhodococcus equi differed among breeding farms with and without foals with pneumonia caused by R equi. SAMPLE POPULATION: 37 farms in central Kentucky. Procedures-During January, March, and July 2006, the total concentration of R equi and concentration of virulent R equi were determined by use of quantitative bacteriologic culture and a colony immunoblot technique, respectively, in soil specimens obtained from farms. Differences in concentrations and proportion of virulent isolates within and among time points were compared among farms. RESULTS: Soil concentrations of total or virulent R equi did not vary among farms at any time point. Virulent R equi were identified in soil samples from all farms. Greater density of mares and foals was significantly associated with farms having foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi. Among farms with affected foals, there was a significant association of increased incidence of pneumonia attributable to R equi with an increase in the proportion of virulent bacteria between samples collected in March and July. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results indicated that virulent R equi were commonly recovered from soil of horse breeding farms in central Kentucky, regardless of the status of foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi on each farm. The incidence of foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi can be expected to be higher at farms with a greater density of mares and foals.

published proceedings

  • Am J Vet Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Cohen, N. D., Carter, C. N., Scott, H. M., Chaffin, M. K., Smith, J. L., Grimm, M. B., ... Martens, R. J.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Cohen, Noah D||Carter, Craig N||Scott, H Morgan||Chaffin, M Keith||Smith, Jacqueline L||Grimm, Michael B||Kuskie, Kyle R||Takai, Shinji||Martens, Ronald J

publication date

  • March 2008